Using Organic Fertilization and Pest Repellant, as Part of an Irrigation System to Supplement Your Landscape Maintenance
Proper fertilization is the key to a lush, vibrant lawn that is highly resistant to pests and diseases. There are many different approaches to fertilization, however, and one that appeals most to eco-conscious customers and landscapers who have time constraints is the application of organic liquid products via an irrigation system.
Why Organic Fertilizer?
Organic fertilizers were originally composed of substances like compost, manure, bone meal, and cottonseed meal. However, they can now be processed to retain nutrients bound up in their natural forms and remain free of synthetic ingredients. Organic fertilizers offer various benefits including improving the structural integrity of soil so that they hold water and nutrients more efficiently. They do not contain toxic chemicals that may build up to damage plants, and they offer a range of environmental benefits that eco-conscious customers will appreciate.
Advocates for the use of chemical fertilizers often rely on a dated debate centered around the fact that organic fertilizers contain less nutrients per volume of product compared to chemical fertilizers. Today, however, organic fertilizers are produced to offer a nutrient ratio very similar to that of chemical fertilizers. In the case of gentler fertilizers, a smaller nutrient content makes no difference to the fertilizer’s ability to sustain a lawn because it is intended to be used with a different approach than the way in which chemical fertilizers are applied.
Concentrated chemical fertilizers are applied infrequently to lawns, and in large amounts. How quickly the fertilizer is absorbed depends on a variety of factors; however, the relatively rapid absorption of such a large concentration of nutrients results in a sudden surge of plant growth. This growth surge consumes a large amount of energy and places the plant under a great deal of stress. Once the nutrients have been exhausted, the growth of the lawn reaches a halt until the next jarring application of fertilizer. This cycle of growth and stagnation is known as the feast or famine cycle and weakens plants, making them more susceptible to disease and death.
Organic fertilizers prevent the feast or famine cycle by exposing lawns to smaller amounts of nutrients, at more frequent intervals, to nourish plants more sustainably. In order to administer small doses at regular intervals without exuberant amounts of labor, an automatic injection system connected to the irrigation system is often required.
GrassSoGreen Organic Liquid Fertilizer as an Example
OMRI certified organic
CAN APPLY TO LAWNS, TREES, SHRUBS, & GARDENS
contains both nitrogen & potassium
promotes steady, sustainable growth
can be fed into irrigation system automatically
does not contain phosphates
ANY BENEFITS TO PHOSPHATES ARE DISPROPORTIONATE TO ENVIRONMENTAL RISK
organic pest repellents boost defense against pests & diseases
GrassSoGreen Organic All-Purpose Lawn Fertilizer is OMRI certified organic, which goes further than being called “natural.” This means that all the ingredients have been reviewed by a third party and approved as 100% organic. It is safe for families and pets and contains no pesticides or synthetic ingredients.
Due to its gentle, yet effective, action, GrassSoGreen Organic All-Purpose Lawn Fertilizer is versatile enough to be applied to new and established landscapes alike, and can be applied to lawns, trees, shrubs, and gardens. It is often used to transition a lawn receiving harsh chemical fertilizers to a more sustainable organic alternative. Lawns can experience nutrient deficiencies during this transition, which GrassSoGreen Organic All-Purpose Lawn Fertilizer is concentrated enough to gently substitute.
While the all-purpose blend of this product line contains both nitrogen and potassium, the GrassSoGreen Maintenance Formula contains nitrogen exclusively to promote steady, sustainable growth throughout the watering season. Either formula can be fed into an irrigation system via an automatic injection system so that small, frequent doses can be administered to a landscape without any labor on your part.
GrassSoGreen formulas do not contain phosphates that risk runoff into nearby bodies of water where they could lead to the proliferation of algae and aquatic plants that starves other aquatic life of sunlight and oxygen. Studies have shown that the benefits of including phosphates in fertilizers are disproportionate to the environmental risk, and refraining from their use can contribute toward the fulfillment of your business’ social responsibility obligations.
While a nourished, strengthened lawn is the best defense against pests and diseases, organic pest repellents can be used to boost this defense.
Why Organic Pest Repellent?
Some pest repellents have a bad rap among customers because they are assumed to contain toxic chemicals that are harmful to children, pets, and plants. Organic pest repellents are more widely accepted by homeowners for the safety they offer families, and for their gentle impact on the environment. They also do not contribute to the irritations felt by customers who suffer from allergies, asthma, and other respiratory issues. Organic pest repellents use naturally derived substances to deter pests, including essential oils and naturally occurring acids.
NatureShield as an Example
NatureShield is an all-natural pest repellent that utilizes a proprietary blend of essential oils and vegetable extracts to form an effective barrier against pests. It is free of artificial additives and artificial scents, making it 100% chemical free, non-toxic, and EPA exempt. Its gentle impact on pets and the environment is extremely helpful in putting customers’ minds at ease regarding the use of pest repellents on their properties. NatureShield protects landscapes from flying insects, ticks, fleas, ants, and other crawling insects before they get the chance to nest.
When applied manually using a pump or hose-end sprayer, the pest-repelling barrier created lasts approximately five days. However, you can cut labor costs and time demands by integrating both NatureShield and GrassSoGreen into an irrigation system via the GreenFeeder System, to achieve both pest control and nutrient supplementation every time you water.
The Benefits of an Automatic Injection System
The use of an automatic injection system removes the labor-intensive and time-consuming aspects of applying small amounts of organic fertilizer at regular intervals, and on multiple properties. Products like fertilizers and pest repellent are fed into the irrigation system and administered to the lawn every time it is watered. In addition to saving time and money, this has various positive environmental effects that eco-conscious customers appreciate and that alleviate common concerns of today’s property owners.
Injecting a controlled amount of liquid fertilizer into an irrigation system enables low doses of fertilizer to be distributed evenly and easily without any product being wasted, resulting in both water and fertilizer being used more effectively. Systems like the GreenFeeder also do not require any electricity to maintain the injection of product into the irrigation system. A consistent, low-dose approach to fertilization can minimize leaching and runoff, and the environmental impacts associated with these events. The GreenFeeder System adjusts its feed rate based on water flow to prevent the over-administration of products to a landscape.
Feeding Organic Liquid Products to the Landscape Via an Automatic Injection System
The GreenFeeder System is an example of a feeder system that enables an irrigation system to achieve more than watering. It can be used to administer GrassSoGreen Liquid Fertilizer or NatureShield Liquid Pest Repellent to landscapes regularly and in small, controlled doses. It can also be used to administer Rid O’ Rust Rust Preventer in irrigation systems with iron levels less than 2 ppm for the prevention of rust stains on properties.
The GreenFeeder System is easy to install above or below ground and can be installed vertically, horizontally, or at an angle, making the topography of a customer’s property of little concern. It can be used to administer products to an entire property or limit product distribution to a specific area. This can be controlled by installing the device along the pressurized mainline or on a non-pressurized section after a particular valve. A code-compliant backflow prevention device is required on all installations to prevent the contamination of the customer’s water supply with landscaping products.
American Hydro injection systems similarly incorporate a specific amount of concentrated liquid fertilizer from a stock tank into a defined amount of water regulated by a metered pump. They come with a 15 gallon, 30 gallon, 100 gallon, or 200 gallon tank. When installing any injection system, parameters like the location and size of the well pump on a property must be considered. Whether the equipment needs protection from the elements should also be noted. American Hydro injection systems, for example, should be used when a below-ground or submersible well pump, or a very large above-ground pump, is involved. It’s recommended that you cover the system when installing it outdoors.